Whether you are a professional photographer, a graphic or web designer, having a spot-on online portfolio is a must. It epitomizes your personality to your target audience and what you offer.
It’s the modern-day version of a comprehensive resume, business card, and a showcase of your past successes. All this put together in a digital format.
With an online portfolio, you can not only “show off” your unique skills and masterpieces but also establish a foothold in today’s competitive industry.
Along with that, you can build an online presence of your dreams. Besides, it will be the go-to place for new and old clients who want to hire you.
But how do you create an online designer portfolio that’s compelling and impressive as your work? Don’t fret, in this article, we’ll walk you through on how to build a knock-out online portfolio in 5 easy steps.
Without further ado, let’s get you started.
How to Build Your Online Designer Portfolio in 5 Steps:
As with any other project, you need to do some bit of research before taking the bull by the horns. Lookup for impressive designer portfolio websites in your niche done by others for inspiration.
When browsing, think of the idea that you want to convey. What about the general layout and the color pallet? Do you want a one-page website or do you want your visitors to navigate from one page to the next?
This will not only arouse you with ideas but will help you envision and customize a unique portfolio website that’s completely your own. It will also make it easy for you to execute your plan.
- Curate Your Best Works
Now that you have a general idea of how you want your portfolio to look like, it’s time to take a closer look at some of your brilliant works that’d you’d like to showcase on your portfolio.
Remember quantity will never outplay quality. So don’t make your portfolio a digital repository for every file or picture in your hard drive. Lest you want prospective employers to think you are an insipid designer.
Select at least five samples that you are truly proud of. Make sure they are also diverse. In other words, don’t exhibit five similar photos from the same shoot. Instead, display the cream of the crop in each category. Here are some creative photography ideas you can implement.
The balance in diversification and quality will communicate to your clients that you are not only talented but also exposed to a variety of different media.
- Choose a Platform to Build Your Portfolio
With your brilliant, spell-binding samples at hand, it’s time to choose a web hosting platform where you’ll build your design portfolio.
While web developers might want to choose platforms that require a clear understanding of HTML and CSS programming languages to show off their coding prowess, as a tech novice you’ll want a platform that will offer you flexibility – both in design and overall appearance of your website.
The good thing is that you do not need to have a perfect grasp of programming language to build a portfolio website since everything has been simplified for you.
With website building tools such as Bluehost and Wix, you can have your website ready in a jiffy. One thing about these two platforms is that they offer an all-in-one solution to website building. However, they have their differences when it comes to flexibility.
For instance, Bluehost offers more options to work with. You can choose to install a CMS such as WordPress or Drupal, or a website builder such as Weebly.
Wix, on the other hand, is doesn’t offer you the luxury of working with any CMS. Instead, its template-based, which means it’s straightforward, easy, and quick to build a website with. You can have a quick sneak peek of Bluehost vs Wix comparison here on MamboServer.
- Plan Your Content Structure
With the platform ready, now it’s time to piece the cake. You want your designer website to stand out from the competition but still remain simple.
You can add as many sections to your website as you want. However, there are some crucial ones that you cannot miss. They must be part of your online designer portfolio website.
Your website’s homepage is the door to your portfolio. Potential clients want to see and who you are before they see what you can do immediately they load your site on their browsers.
As such, it needs to be catchy. We are not talking of just a beautiful background image here but also some descriptive text. However, it doesn’t have to be a biography of sorts, but just a simple introduction such name and specialty will suffice.
Under this section, you’ll showcase your past successful projects. It is here that clients will evaluate your skill and creativity. Most people tend to overdo it, which can at times kill the vibe you want to convey. Keep it simple but creative. Also, don’t forget to include a brief description of what the project was about. It helps the client get the gist of your work.
Apart from your projects, your clientele is your biggest asset. Include a list of clients you have worked with as well as their testimonials. You can also mention some of the projects that have been featured in TV shows or magazines.
Under the “About” page, you’ll need to cover your bio, the services you offer, and any other vital information. Summarize everything on this page but don’t forget to give your story a personal touch. You can even add a downloadable resume here.
Your prospective client is already impressed with your skills. But how do they get in touch with you? Give them that final nudge to reach out to you by adding a contact form. Luckily, both Wix and WordPress offer this tools.
- Make Your Portfolio Shine
With your design portfolio ready, it time to do some refinements to take your game higher. Add some powerful design features such as parallax scrolling and hover effects. The goal here is to make the website feel sleek and alive while keeping it engaging.
Along with that, you’ll need to do some SEO so that you can rank higher in search engine results. This way, clients can easily notice you and order for your services. The best way to achieve better SEO is by adding a blog section where you publish fresh content now and then.
Last but not least, you’ll need to ensure that your site is mobile responsive. Note that, now more than ever, most people use mobile devices to access the internet as opposed to computers. For Wix users, this will happen automatically once you build your site. However, if you use WordPress, you’ll need to do some tweaks to optimize your website for mobile.
An online portfolio is a valuable promotional tool. It can help you build a professional network and play a vital role in landing you your dream job.
Best of all, creating an online portfolio is not hard. All you need is to research, put together your best samples, choose a web building platform such as Wix or Bluehost, and you are ready to roll.